Thursday, May 31, 2007


  • Organ donor TV show triggers condemnation. "Do you want to keep your briefcase and hope it contains a kidney and risk picking another briefcase?  Or do you want to take the banker's offer?"
  • So much for sell in May and go away...  This from Yahoo FinanceSo much for investors fretting about the old adage, "sell in May and go away." Blue-chip stocks may have ended today's session in lackluster fashion, but sellers this May were few and far between.   The bull market continues. 
  • Oil prices were down $5 in May.  Of course that didn't make its way to the pumps.  Although gasoline prices are pumped up.  I went to a station yesterday and that only allows $50 worth of fuel.  Didn't fill it up!  "They" blame refinery capacity and summer refinery conversions.  "Shyeah, Wayne.  And monkeys might fly out of my butt."  More on the high gas prices from Time.
  • Are you following the ethanol market?  Here's an article on the supply glut and the worry that this will drive down prices.  But do you kow the real bad news? This is causing beer prices to rise!  In Germany, farmers are switching from barley to environmentally friendly crops in order to cash in on the biofuels craze!  Like most Germans, brewer Helmut Erdmann is all for the fight against global warming. Unless, that is, it drives up the price of his beer.  Who cares about gasoline prices?  THIS.  IS.  SERIOUS. 
  • China and the Mother of All Double-Tops.  From Barry Ritholtz.
  • Kevin Stecyk has *finaly* finished uploading pictures of Jennifer Nguyen to his Flickr account!  If you click on her picture above, you will be taken to a larger version.
  • "Dude, you're fired."  Dell eliminating 8,800 jobs.
  • Nielson ratings for TV commercials?  (I have bad news for you folks.  I use a DVR and fast-forward through commercials.)

Market Thoughts

  • While many of us have been expecting a correction or pullback, the market continues to race ahead. Yesterday, we closed at an all-time closing high on the SP500 and we're tacking on additional gains today.  The market loves to climb a wall of worry, and there are some skeptical investors out there.  Short Sales Break Record on NYSE

The amount of shorting -- where traders sell borrowed stocks expecting to buy them back after prices fall -- jumped to 3.1 percent of the total shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange this month. That's the highest since at least 1931, according to Bespoke Investment Group LLC, a research firm in Mamaroneck, New York.

  • It's interesting.  You'd think at all-time highs, we'd see extreme optimism.  We're getting the opposite!  Does this mean we can continue higher?  Will this fuel the bull market into the summer as the shorts tire of taking losses day after day?  It seems like the rally has lasted longer than most thought it would, and continues to advance no matter if we're in the "favorable" season or not.
  • Speaking of favorable season, this is the sweet spot in the month where monthly checks are issued and retirement funds are dollar-cost averaged into mutual funds.
  • Nothing but blue skies, right?
  • Right?  I remain conservatively positioned.  Nothing has changed for me, and I'm still thinking that we're due for a correction this summer...


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

SP500 New Closing High!

  • We're at 1530!
  • Watching CNBC pre-market this morning, all I saw were the big-red futures numbers on the ticker.  China was imploding because of their big tax hike on stock gains.  All the talk was about how this would affect not only China, but the US markets.  We got our answer:  It's always a good day to buy US stocks.
  • Congratulations to those who have remained steadfast and long this incredible bull market.  This is an environment where the market timers and traders will have a difficult time trying to beat or even match the market index.  When the market goes up almost everyday, the best strategy is "pedal to the metal" and stay long, turn off the TV, go fishing, and watch the portfolio rip.
  • More on the Chinese stock markets from Jason at The Trend.   China's market today has now surpassed the Nasdaq circa 1998-2000 as the biggest bubble. We all know that in this lesser Nasdaq bubble, it eventually lost 80% of its value and a recession did occur. To think that China will somehow escape this fate let alone a worse one is foolish. China will come down hard and enter a recession.
  • Microsoft to unveil coffee-table-shaped computer.  "And Jerry, the coffee-table-shaped computer has a coffee table screensaver, and opens up to be a miniature coffee table!" 
  • In the ongoing saga of Lindsay Lohan...  As you know, she was busted for DUI on Memorial Day weekend.  But did you know that the little underage drinker was fast approaching her 21st birthday?  In addition, she had a booze sponsor for her birthday bash!  Troubled actress and AA attendee Lindsay Lohan has lost her Svedka Vodka sponsor for her 21st birthday bash scheduled for Las Vegas on July 2 following the underaged drinker's arrest this weekend for DUI - and possibly a few other charges including possession after investigators found what they believe is cocaine at the scene.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chinese Stocks (and Miss Universe!)

  • BREAKING NEWS: Miss Japan, Riyo Mori, wins Miss Universe!  See story.
  • Remember the euphoria that gripped investors in the US in the late 90's?  I still remember folks quitting their countertop installation jobs at the Home Depot to trade stocks full time.   I remember sitting in the sports book at a casino during March Madness listening to the guys behind me talking about Cisco and AOL instead of the Duke point spread, and then asking the sports bar if they could "Just turn one TV to CNBC, please?!?!"  Lets flash forward, LOST style, to China 2007

The stock boom has attracted a flood of new money from millions of newcomers to the market, including elderly pensioners, students, maids, security guards, Buddhist monks, taxi drivers, and even young schoolchildren. A group of 9-year-old students at a primary school in Nanjing is among the latest stock investors. Some Chinese investors are borrowing large sums of money or pawning their possessions to gain money for buying shares.

Mr. Zhang, a 21-year-old security guard at the trading hall of a Beijing brokerage, is earning a monthly salary of less than 1,000 yuan after arriving fresh from the countryside of Hebei province. But he has already taken almost his entire savings - about 15,000 yuan - and sunk it into the stock market. "Some of my colleagues among the security guards have also bought stocks, and some of them have invested more than me," he said.

"The cleaning lady here has also bought stocks, and she earned more profits than me because her stock rose by three yuan while mine only rose by one yuan. I don't know much about stocks, but it's helpful to listen to the experienced investors here because I'm working here every day. I'm not worried about my investment - everyone says the stock market won't have any problems before the Beijing Olympics next summer."

Mr. Huang, a 71-year-old pensioner, is surviving on a pension of barely 1,000 yuan a month. But he has already invested 3,000 yuan in the stock market. He is planning to learn how to use a computer - a new skill - so that he can trade stocks on the Internet at home.

"I agree that the stock market is overheated," he said. "But when everybody around me has earned money from the stock market, why shouldn't I invest in it? It's better than putting my money in the bank. All of my friends have profited from the stock market."

  • Let me ask you.  Are you anxious to rush into Chinese market after reading that?  How do you think it'll end for those folks?  My guess is that it will end mostly the same as it did for the folks here in 1999.  Now this doesn't mean China's market won't go higher.  Maybe this time it is different.  But while history may not repeat itself, it often rhymes.
  • CNBC's Miss Finance, Erin Burnett, still concerned this morning that the SP500 hasn't closed above the previous all-time closing high of 1527. 
  • It's the first day back after a long weekend.  I almost forgot to honor the search engine gods regarding Miss Japan and now Miss Universe Riyo Mori (nude, naked, topless, bikini, swimsuit, miss universe, miss japan, panties, smoking).  That's better.  Back in the groove.
  • More later.  Shaking off some long weekend cobwebs.  Dumped a few more shares of mo-mo stocks this morning and raising more cash.  I know we have the end-of-month strength period ahead, but I'm content and patient to be a little reserved here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day (and Lindsay Lohan)

  • It's Memorial Day.  Thank you to all the military folks and their families.
  • One of the amazing things about the rally in the stock market is the incredible amount of pessimism or "wall of worry" along the way.  Peter Brimelow has an article out about Richard Band's newsletter.  "To be honest with you, I'm delighted with this state of affairs. It suggests that the advance will last longer, and climb to far greater heights, than the majority of observers now expect. When this bull is ready to keel over, it will be from too much revelry -- not an excess of caution."  It's true.  I've mentioned before that I've been in cautious mode since the Fall with low beta stocks, cash, and some QID, and believe I'm in the crowd this time.  I've even shed most of my mo-mo stocks lately.
  • Lindsay Lohan (nude, naked, topless, drinking, drunk, cocaine, smoking) busted againFresh out of rehab, Lindsay Lohan was accused of driving under the influence early Saturday morning, and police found what they believe to be cocaine in her car.  Witnesses said at 5:30 a.m., Lohan, 20, was driving down Hollywood's Sunset Bouelvard in her Mercedes convertible. She jumped a curb and flew into a set of trees. Right after the accident, she ran into a nearby house.  Yikes.  I thought she was great in "Mean Girls," but what a troubled girl. 
  • Have you seen the latest from Venezuela's Hugo ChavezVenezuela shut down an opposition television channel on Monday and replaced it with one promoting President Hugo Chavez's self-proclaimed socialist revolution in a move widely criticized as a threat to democracy.  Hugo Chavez shit-kicking free speech to the curb, baby.  That country seems to be in a downward spiral of death.
  • Apple iPhone will ship June 20th.  You think it's priced in and will see a "sell the news" reaction?  Or, will this be the gotta-have item of 2007?  I think all the kids will want one, and those who get something else will be called "losers."  It's going to be a hot item.  Does the stock price reflect that?
  • The whales seem to be heading back to salt water.  Cross your fingers.
  • I popped in Tiger Woods Golf in the Wii.  Not bad. 
  • Cialis vs Viagra?  Cialis gives you an erection for 36 hours.  One advantage that Cialis has over Viagra is that tadalafil has an half-life of 17.5 hours (and thus Cialis is advertised to work for up to 36 hours) as compared to 4 hours half-life for sildenafil (Viagra).  It looks like Cialis works for 36 hours, and Viagra only 8 hours.  Plan accordingly.  (36 hours.  C'mon.)

Saturday, May 26, 2007


  • It's the kickoff holiday weekend of the summer!  Hanging out with family and friends, picnics, barbeques, a couple of beers...
  • The market had a nice day to end the pre-Memorial weekend trading.  We're going to hear about how light the volume was and maybe that the technical damage done by the number of recent distribution days in the market and that the whoosh down thursday are too much to overcome.  But it was a nice day.  Take it.
  • My fantasy baseball team really sucks.  I mean, really sucks.  And there's not a darn thing I can do about it.  Say, I wonder if all those corporations flush with cash, buying back stocks and increasing dividends might want to buy signage rights to my fantasy team?
  • "It's all fun and games until the market gets shitkicked" - Howard LindzonThe CNBC putz’s will be on TV talking about a healthy pullback. Healthy for who?  Well, healthy for Erin Burnett (nude, naked, topless, cheerleader, smoking, panties, topless, spanking, upskirt).  The poor woman has been out there angsting for a new closing high in the SP500 for weeks. 
  • Eye doctor says that my reading vision is "down a tick" but not that much, and my contact lens prescription need not change for now.  I struggled with the small print test today.  "Hey Doc, can't I right-click that eye chart and up the font size a bit?"
  • Some Frito-Lay products to bear heart claimVegetable oils, salad dressings, crackers and other oil-containing foods made by PepsiCo Inc.'s Frito-Lay unit will now carry claims that products with unsaturated fat can curb the risk of heart disease, U.S. regulators said on Friday.  Man, I wish chips were a health food.  But I'm not believing those labels.
  • So, did you watch the LOST finale, yet?  HOW GOOD WAS THAT?
  • Demark sell signals from ContraHour.  Are we in for a long summer?
  • Rosie O'Donnell (not pictured) is leaving The View early.  Kind of wonder about her self-esteem issues; don't you?  In addition, one of Rosie's staffers was axed for defacing Elisabeth HasselbeckA Rosie O’Donnell staffer was escorted out of the ABC building in New York Thursday after she was caught drawing mustaches on pictures of Rosies’ on-air rival, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the New York Post reports.  Even with a mustache, my bet is that Elisabeth is hotter than Rosie.
  • What blogs does Charles E. Kirk read?  Some very good ones there. 
  • Hoses being used to coax the whales back to sea.
  • Jordan "the wrath of" Khan wonders if thursday's sell-off was a one-day wonder.  We didn't get the reversal on friday (after the strong open) he was lookng for.  But we have seen some one-day wonders before.  That's the play book for now until it changes.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Market Thoughts (and Ali Larter!)

  • Pretty big volume on the stock market selling today, Mister. I'm wondering if we'll see the "it doesn't matter" chatter here with the month end and Memorial Day holiday ahead?  In the past, I'd have jumped in here and I'd be early.  But the volume, Mister.  Price and volume matter.  The market seems like it wants to pull back.  The dip buyers have been preventing that, but they seem absent here.  Maybe they're on vacation; maybe they're all in.  Anyways, we're all so getting used to the "it doesn't matter" feeling (complacency) because the dip buyers have been previously stepping up.  
  • More from Yahoo FinanceAfter showing some fatigue all week, new evidence that diminished the prospect of a Fed rate cut anytime soon pulled the rug out from under equities ThursdayThere's a rug?  Look, with the GDP hanging in the low 1's, I think we can rule out the prospect of a rate hike.  So that means the Fed either does nothing or reduces the rate.  Unless there is a fourth option I'm unaware of. 
  • Looks like some new cast members with special abilities will be added to Heroes next season.  Of course, you probably think I'd jump in here suggesting a stripper with an attitude; but the series kind of did that with Ali Larter (nude, naked, topless, panties, upskirt).  (I never get tired of that shameless search engine play).  I was thinking for the next Hero, maybe a middle-aged pitcher who had the ability to make millions of dollars pitching for only half a season.   I know, it does sound a bit out there.
  • For short term investing strategies, I tend to follow the IBD way.  I like basing stocks that break out with mo-mo.  Cup and handles.  Etc.   For that mo-mo game, I think it is important to do whatever the crowd is doing; just never exceed your stay.  Longer and intermediate term, I tend to look for double bottoms or tops on the indexes (and not individual stocks).
  • ETFs up the wazzoo.
  • If you missed the LOST finale, this is a terrific write-up.  I don't want to spoil it for those who DVRed it and watched American Idol instead.  You're in for a treat.  Great show.  Now we have to wait 7 months.   Bugger.
  • There is also a LOST blog, called Lost Easter Eggs.  Again, don't want to spoil last night's shows for the DVRists.
  • You do know that Ali Larter was in Legally Blonde, right?  One of the classics.

Cat Fight!

  • I think I should to be recording The View!  Of course, one can just watch it on YouTube....  The building war of words between "The View" co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck exploded Wednesday into a heated on-air exchange when O'Donnell charged her younger co-host with failing to defend her against conservative critics — and Hasselbeck let loose.  Some *might* pay money to see Hasselbeck let loose.  Ya think?
  • Speaking letting loose, what happened to the market?  Lets ask our friends at Yahoo Finance:   The indices are trading near session lows midday as renewed concerns of the Fed not easing in the near futures feed into the bears' argument that stocks are overbought at current levels.  One minute, new evidence to suggest the housing market may have bottomed and that business spending trends are improving is comforting. The next, such improvements easing concerns about the pace of economic growth, as reflected by this morning's sell-off in Treasuries, also remind investors that the Fed is hardly garnering the "incoming" data that will likely result in an interest rate cut anytime soon.
  • There are some interesting cross-currents in the market going forward.  The economy is growing at below trend.  Barney Frank (D) railed on Fed Dude Bernanke recently about this. The economy is at full employment.  4.something% unemployment, 1.8% unemployment for college grads with employers offering plasma TVs and other perks trying to recruit folks.  Mergers and acquisitions, stock buybacks, etc;  aren't these the things we see near market tops?  (See Dr. Jeff's opinion on buybacks...).  We've seen some incredible market volatility without the market making much progress; is that another topping sign?  Sell in May and go away in play (see Barry Ritholtz for more on that).  Oh, and the Wall Street Journal cover yesterday touting that we have to own stocks for the next 10 years because of the growth to come.  Ouch, did we need THAT?
  • I remain careful in my holdings.  Nothing much has changed recently for me.  Remaining in low beta holdings, some QID, and a growing cash position.  Very few mo-mo names right now, but the ones I do have are bucking the sell-off this morning so I'm holding on.  Not adding any new ones here.
  • I do plan on refacing the blog in the days or week ahead.  I've prototyped it over at The Learning Curve, Too.   Just for a change, and a "clean" three-column layout.  One fun thing is the use of Twitter at the prototyped site. 
  • Does that new pill that ends periods also end the mood swings?
  • Iran:  3-8 years from nuclear weapons.  (Israel:  2-7 years from attacking Iran).
  • Yes, instead of posting the YouTube vid, I'm just including a picture of Elisabeth Hasselbeck (nude, naked, cheerleader, costume, lingerie, smoking, pregnant, upskirt, topless, spanking). 

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Immaculate Conception II

  • The Immaculate Conception II! Female shark reproduces without sex!  Sequels are normally not as good as the original, except maybe for Aliens. 
  • I was just about to type that the SP500 looked like it was finaly going to do it, and CNBC could move on with their fixation on a "new closing high."  I've about had it with that, to be honest.  Plus that "xx points above record" header up top.  But it looks like somebody just pressed the sell button and the market has reversed course.  She looks a little flat chested right here.
  • I thought it was ridiculous when a talking head tries to summarize the day's market move by relating it to the day's top headline.  Have you checked out google finance?   There is a news event that drives every tick!
  • Weight lifting reverses aging.  This is a Google list of articles today on the benefits of strength training.  Pick and choose a few.  Mostly the same stuff, but some good comments here and there from folks. 
  • Jordin should win American Idol.  I thought the new song clearly favored Jordin's style over Blake's.  The girl can really sing.
  • Dancing with the Stars.  Yeah, Apolo.
  • US House approves stiff penalties for gasoline price gouging.  The first penalites should go to the states who are taxing the crud for each gallon of fuel.  Isn't that "sticking it" to the consumer?
  • The Portland Trailblazers have the first pick in the NBA draft.  Greg Oden?  They wouldn't pull a sequel on that draft where they passed on Michael Jordan and drafted Sam Bowie, right?

In Edit: And Mary Cheney gave birth, too. I'm don't know if sex was involved. Just saying.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Season-Ending Double Play

  • Both 24 and Heroes had their finale last night, and I decided to watch Heroes and record 24.   So, don't spoil it for me.  I think the terrorists are going to win, and everyone in CTU dies.  I know there's all this talk about 2 more seasons and cast members getting contracts, but until I see the finale, I think it's all a smoke screen. 
  • How frustrating is the watch for a new closing high on the SP500?  We need to close at 1528.  Of course, THEN WHAT?  It's just a number, folks.  I think a correction is coming, but I think most do and that's why the market grinds higher (to fool the most).  I'm also hearing folks say that they're long but will exit on any sign of trouble.  I wonder how that works in practice?  Think about it.  If the market pulls back 5%, then many folks stay in because it's not that much and expect it to rebound.  Then the 5% loss turns into a 10% loss and folks hold out until it recovers some, to sell on a bounce or strength.  Then the 10% becomes a 15% or 20% loss, and that exit strategy didn't hold water.  It's all so emotional...
  • 100,000 barrels of oil a day offline at Prudhoe Bay.  Just in time for your summer driving pleasure.  CNBC's Mark Haines this morning talking about the pain of filling up his 42-gallon Suburban, or whatever monster thing he's driving.  Get a Prius, Markie Mark.  It's hip to own a green machine.
  • Heroes ending was a bit weak, me thinks.  Sylar killed with a quick jab from Hiro.  Just a couple of weeks ago, Sylar grabbed the sword and broke it.  What happened this time?  Anyways, it was still a good show and set up for the next season with a little preview of Chapter Two and the "tracking device" saying that there is somebody worse than Sylar.
  • Realizing that the threat of global warming, being 20 feet under water, having severe hurricanes, drought and famine isn't fazing people, the UN is out there with with something that may strike terror in the hearts of millions:  Climate change to spur allergies.  "Who cares about oceans rising 20 feet?  How can one sleep if one has a stuffy nose?"
  • Viagra said to help jet-lagged travelers.   How was this study done?  "Hey, sure seems like those fellas over there taking the pill and getting laid are doing better then the other guys who aren't."  OK, the study was really done with Hamsters.  Happy hamsters.  Wooot.  You wouldn't want to be the hamster in the study group receiving the placebo, though.
  • I wonder how one signs up for a Viagra study?  "So, you give me a suitcase of Viagra, I fly to Thailand for a month, and keep a daily journal?"
  • I also caught some of the Dancing With the Stars finale, although that technically also goes into tonight.  I don't think the finalists this year are as good as in previous years, but I suppose I'd have to give the technical edge to Apolo.  Maybe Joey will get more fan votes.  Hard to say.  And for those of you looking for Carrie Ann Inaba nude, and you know who you are, see the vid on yesterday's entry.
  • Tonight, everyone will be watching American Idol.  Prediction:  Jordin.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Randoms (and Carrie Ann Inaba Again!)

  • The search results are in, and Carrie Ann Inaba nude wins the day. Unfortunately, I have no nude shots.  But this sexy YouTube vid is a nice highlight reel and leaves some to the imagination.
  • How to Become Rich from Greg Mankiw.  Pretty short how-to guide, Greg.  But right on.  Two words:  Self control.  I suppose that's the lesson learned from a larger text, The Millionaire Next Door.
  • Adam's Randoms are a 2-hr special today.
  • Peak Oil from Econobrowser.  An interesting side note here is the comments from former presidents back to Nixon about how the US should (and will be) off of foreign crude by some date in the future.  (Oh, and that never happened...)
  • The Hottest Billionaire Heiresses.  Ooh la la.  Hat tip to Crossing Wall Street.
  • Erin Burnett!  Put that SP500 1528 (on a closing basis) party hat away, and put your top back on.  No party tonight.
  • Aha, the Fly on Wall Street has a time machine that helps him have a return year-to-date of 28%.   Room for two in that, Fly?
  • Counter trend rally in the dollar?  See Barry Ritholtz' Dollar Rebound?
  • The whales are circling around Rio Vista.  I was reading that they eat 1.5 tons of krill a day.  Must be some pretty good stuff.  I kind of do that with potato chips.
  • Visit Madd Money for Cramer's three billion stock mentions today. 
  • Interesting thoughts from The Day Shark in SELL MORTIMER SELLWe had the second run into the 1,527 level on the SPX and it was tagged and sold and tomorrow just may bring Turnaround Tuesday.

Season Finale Tube Fest

  • As I type and if the SP500 closed RIGHT HERE we'd have an all-time closing high on the SP500. I'm away from the television, so I don't know if CNBC's Erin Burnett has her SP500 1528 party hat on or if she's taken off her top or some other way to celebrate.  But I have to give kudos to those folks who have remained steadfastly bullish for this whole leg up.  Market timing is a miserable tool when the market goes up day after day after day after day.  Buying, holding and whale watching is the way to make money in this market.
  • Lots of TV season finales this week.  Heroes.  Lost.  American Idol.  24.  Veronica Mars (Sorry, no Kristen Bell pic today.  But proper search engine protocol here:  Nude. Naked.  Showering.  Cheerleader.  Panties.  Uniform.  Costume.  Lingerie.  Smoking.  Topless.  Upskirt.  Up skirt.)  I have the DVR set, and will be multi-tasking by watching some shows live.
  • Speaking of whale watching, I went to the port in West Sacramento saturday and checked out the whales.  Seeing them on TV is one thing.  Watching them frolic around right in front of you is another.  Quite amazing to see them surface, blow out their blowholes, and head back down.  Quite a cast of characters down there watching them. Lots of families.  Some bringing lawn chairs, ice coolers and making a day of it.  Me?  I lasted about 20 minutes.  
  • The new Michael Moore film is out.  I guess it criticizes US health care.  If there's any guy who's going to need health care in his future, it's Michael Moore.  Big fella.  A lifetime of overeating and lack of exercise may lead to all kinds of chronic conditions, Mikie. 
  • Larry Kudlow (KLo):  It Pays to Stay in School...within our historically low 4.5 percent unemployment rate, there’s a 7.5 percent unemployment rate for those with less than a high-school diploma; a 4.5 percent rate for high-school grads, and a mere 1.8 percent rate for those with college degrees or better. Americans who don’t finish high school earn roughly $429 a week.  Individuals finishing high school pocket $602 a week. Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher take home $1,030 a week.
  • Mucking around with my blog template, and you can get a preview over at The Learning Curve, Too.  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Should I ditch this two-column format and move to the three-column style?  Also added some widgets there from Twitter.  Check it out and let me know. 

Friday, May 18, 2007

More TGIF Randoms!

  • As David notes in the comments of the previous blog entry, the closing high record of the SP500 is 1527, but the intraday high was actually 1552. I'll leave it up to you to choose your own benchmark.  Me?  I like closing numbers over the longer term.  High and lows are important I think when looking at shorter-term stuff, like when a stock is hammering on support. 
  • A lot of search engine hits by folks looking for Carrie Ann Inaba nude.  Can't say I blame you.  And I have a treat for folks on MONDAY.  Because that is Dancing with the Stars day, my I don't have to run day. 
  • Big weekend plans?  Tell me about 'em!
  • Looks like the efforts to save the whales has resumed here in the "City of Whales," West Sacramento.  The plan is to pipe in some music.  Maybe some Gwen Stefani this time.
  • And Microsoft acquires an online advertising company, as more and more software is going to be distributed free but with advertising to cover costs.  I've said it before, but I'd like to see this revenue model expand to things such as my cable company, utility company, etc.  Instead of billing me every month, why not provide the service for free and just mail me a bunch of advertisements every month?  Save postage and use email if you like.  I think we can make this work.   ;)
  • Check out Adam's Deep Thoughts, and notice the twitter widget in the upper right hand corner of the blog.  Some "what am I doing..." market thoughts. 
  • Oil up over $65 a barrel again.  Great news!  Just ahead of the summer driving season!  Lets see a show of hands out there from folks who think that Big Oil is manipulating oil prices.  Wow, lots of folks.  You can put your hands down now.  From CBSMarketwatch, Heightened tensions in Nigeria, where labor unions were threatening a two-day strike later this month to protest recent presidential elections, raised fresh concerns over the flow of crude supplies from the country. Nigerian output has been hobbled this month by rebel actions aimed at its oil fields, knocking out more than 200,000 barrels a day.  The market also continues to fret about low U.S. gasoline supplies heading into summer. The industry has been plagued by unscheduled refinery outages, keeping margins high for producers whose units are running.  So own stocks of oil producers who have their refineries online 24x7?!?!?!?
  • Bad news on tomatoes preventing prostate cancer.  They don't.  And the "it gets even worse" news, "In fact, the researchers found an association between beta carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer."   Of course, I don't think the study is in yet on chocolate chip cookies preventing the disease.  So there is some hope for those of us who didn't fall for the eat-50-tomatoes-a-day thing.
  • Seriously, one day we here something is good for you.  The next, it's bad for you.  Have we reached the point to where we can conclude that we should eat things and exercise in moderation?   Extremes are bad news.
  • More on market seasonality (sell in May and go away) from Sy Harding's weekly freebie
  • Housing is falling much faster than reported, from Barry Ritholtz.  (I'm getting the last-name spelling down, BR).  Here's where I am on housing.  I think it's bad for the folks in dire straits.  If somebody is getting their negatively amortized mortgage of $400,000 refinanced at higher rates and they only make $40K, then those folks have some problems.  They are forced to sell or let the bank have the keys.  No doubt this is happening more and more as we hit year 2 of the housing slide.  (The housing market peaked 2 years ago, so those risky loans are starting to hit their dates).  But my overall feeling is that the economy is growing and people have jobs.  I believe that while housing prices are falling, most of us will just continue to make our monthly payments and live our lives.  The catalyst for a free-fall would be a recession.  So the Fed better keep close watch on interest rates, because with the GDP at 1.3% and interest rates too high in my opinion, now is not the time to be hawkish.   Got that, Ben?  Inflation is very low, dude. 

TGIF Randoms

  • It's a friday, the market volatility of options expiration week just a memory as we tack on more gains. The SP500 is less than 10 points away from an ALL TIME RECORD HIGH!  Of course, if you are watching CNBC then that information is being pounded into your head.  But if Erin Burnett is doing the pounding, I suppose we'll give her a pass.  (Erin Burnett, dancing, cheerleader, panties, stripping, smoking, naked, nude, topless).
  • Meanwhile, in West Sacramento the effort continues to drive the whales from the port back to the San Francisco Bay.  News 10 in Sac has your local coverage and some video.
  • Speaking of CNBC babes, has Melissa Lee been cast out into the field as a researcher?  Haven't seen much of her behind.  Er, behind the anchor desk, that is.
  • Small caps not so hot lately, eh?  I wonder about the strength in the DOW and if it is hinting that we're late in the game.  Plus the crazy volatility this week.
  • Good news for college grads, as they're entering the best job market in yearsCompanies are scrambling to get the best and brightest. Employers are dangling perks such as signing bonuses and flat-screen TVs to woo this year's college graduates.  Signs of a tight labor market.
  • Dennis Miller (on the radio) talking about his hair plug procedure mentions that he walks into the office, and Asian girls prick small holes in his scalp.  Before Miller can continue with the story, he is immediately interrupted by sidekick Sal who asks, "Oooh, does that cost extra?"  Good radio show, btw.
  • On the MP3 player?  Scorpions, "Still Loving You."  Power rock ballad, baby.  Whatever happened to them?  Wait.  Quick google search...  Heck, they have a new album.  Who knew?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Whale Watching in West Sac

  • Ah, the great Sacramento pastime: Heading down to West Sacramento and watching the whales frolic in the fresh water turning basin in the Port of Sacramento.  The port is about 70 miles north of the San Francisco Bay.
  • Last night on the news, there was a 5 second blurb that mentioned "Well, LA airport has been evacuated because of mortar shells."  Then the next 15 minutes of the 30 minute news was spent on the whales.  Followed by another 5 seconds of "Looks like somebody in LA tried to get mortars through the airport, they were caught, and folks are re-entering the airport. Up next, sports, weather, and more on the whales."  Maybe we're at the point where we're numb at the societal madness, and want to focus on helping out where we think we can do some good with the wayward whales.
  • How about the market volatility this week?  Does the increased volatility indicate a sign of a top?  As if we're just churning trades without making any progress. Just thinking out loud.  Meanwhile, I remain as I've been positioned for awhile with low beta holdings, a little QID, cash and some mo-mo stocks.  But I'm down to very few mo-mo stocks and not seeing much out there in chart-land that looks inviting.  Thinking that cash on the sidelines isn't such a bad thing right now.
  • Blake vs. Jordin on the finale of American Idol.  I'd think Jordin will be a shoe-in.  Not surprised that Melinda was voted off, because you figure younger folks are texting in the votes. 
  • X-rated nude car washThe Bubbles 'n' Babes car wash in Brisbane prompted a flood of complaints with a topless car wash for A$55 ($45) and a nude car wash with X-rated lap-dance service for A$100. "If it was approved for a car wash then I can't imagine how we can stop them," Lord Mayor Campbell Newman told a council meeting with worried local lawmakers.
  • The investor guide to Global Warming.  Don't get me started on the global warming hype.  But I'm all for clean air and reducing the burning of fossil fuels.  I think that's the common ground we can agree on.  And there are investment ideas out there.  I've been playing some solar names, and looking into alternative energy stocks for ideas.
  • Just waiting for a climatologist to tell us that whales are mistakingly migrating to West Sacramento because of global warming.
  • Filtering Wall Street taking a look at RSI(2) and ATR(10).  A worthy read.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The 6% Commission

An interesting entry over at Paper Money on the traditional 6% real estate commission when selling properties. 

The 60 Minutes segment merely stated the obvious, questioning the sense of the traditional 6% broker commission as well as pointing out that in the age of the Internet, the traditional real estate broker services are going the way of the buggy whip. There were no new revelations in the segment as these are the very same issues many average consumers have asked themselves in recent years after seeing the obvious disconnect between the standard 6% commission Realtors have established and the actual work performed.

I agree that the efficiencies brought by technology should be putting downward pressure on commission rates.  No longer do we have to go on all-day ride alongs with agents shopping properties.  We simply log on and click home listings to generate a list of possibilities.  Shouldn't we get a cut of that 6% for doing that work ourselves?  That rate needs to come down.  Sorry, agents! 

I may be thinking to myself here, but wouldn't a Wal-mart Real Estate Agent be a great idea?  Once you find a house you like, you take the infomation over to Wal-mart where you are greeted at the door by a friendly person asking "Need a shopping cart, or are you filling a prescription or buying a house today?"  They direct you to the Wal-mart Real Estate Agent who fills out the paperwork for you, and starts the home-buying process.


(Disclosure:  Don't own any WMT just yet!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Randoms (and Carrie Ann Inaba!)

  • Ah, another monday night and another Dancing With the Stars.  This show has been yet another ratings hit.  You know, I have yet to cast a vote in this one.
  • A closer look at BRIC ETFs (via a link to CBS Marketwatch) at Seeking Alpha.  My thoughts are that if anyone is looking for a correction in the US markets, I'd think these BRIC stocks would be a little more volatile.
  • The Fly on Wall Street does not sound bearish in any sense of the word.  On days like this, I am far too busy raising new money for my favorite positions. I'll have you know, "The Fly" is highly caffeinated and unafraid of beartards.
  • Contrarians still smiling, from Mark Hulbert.  The sentiment picture continues to be one that contrarians interpret bullishly. Contrarians, of course, believe the market rarely accommodates the majority. Warning signs of an imminent stock market top would not only be a large number of bulls, but also bullish opinions that are held stubbornly in the face of any market correction. Neither of these warnings signs exists today.   There you have it.  Too many bears.
  • And Larry has a picture up of the latest blogger sentiment poll (from Tickersense) showing all of us who have responded as bears in the poll, and more....
  • Internet Could Help Encourage Exercise.  Yes, nothing like parking my butt in a chair for 10 hours a day to get that heart rate up.  People who spend their days in front of a computer may want to check out some fitness-related Web sites, according to a study published Monday. Hey!  Let me put on my reading sneakers!
  • Even if you don't have a Nintendo Wii, you can still make your Mii via this Mii Editor.
  • From Paul Kedrosky at Infectious Greed, energy links!  Solar, oil depletion, cheap gas bad for America, etc...
  • Ah, where is my search engine protocol? Carrie Ann Inaba, panties, bikini, naked, smoking, topless.

Mo Mo Selling (and Hooters!)


  • So for lunch today... (pictured).
  • A little bit of selling here in the Nasdaq in DAY ONE of options expiration week.  I sold down a few more MO MOs from the portfolio and raising some more cash.  Of course, the DOW was up as always.
  • I read that the SP500 has been up for six weeks in a row.  The first time since 1904.  Anyone want to bet on seven weeks in a row?  Anyone?
  • Who else had some fun with the new Ameritrade website today?  Anyone?
  • So President Bush directed his cabinet to complete action by the end of 2008 on his plan to cut U.S. gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017.  Hmm, not sure a plan of "Everyone buy a Toyota hybrid" will go over well in Detroit.
  • "Donald Trump, you're fired!"  Well, almostThe future of his NBC series "The Apprentice" was cast into extreme doubt on Monday by the network's announcement of a 2007-08 programming lineup that made no mention of Trump or the corporate-themed reality show he hosts.  I always watch, but do feel the show has run its course.
  • David says buy the dips until proven wrong and believes we're on our way to retest the previous SP500 highs.
  • More later. Maybe.  Another Wii tennis smackdown tonight. 

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nintendo Wii (and Jeanette Lee!)

  • [jlee.jpg]Sunday night?  Where did the time go?  Oh, sucked into the Wii vortex!  I've been casually shopping for the Nintendo Wii the past couple of months.  Finaly found a store that had a few in stock friday and snapped one up along with a few games.  The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Pricess and Tiger Woods golf.  (Along with the Wii Sports and Wii Play).  I can see why the Wii has been more popular than the Sony Playstation 3.  It's a lot of fun.  More on the Wii later, and of course I do have a personalized Mii.  
  • So this morning I turned on ESPN and there were women playing pool (none pictured). 
  • Ah, the market.  Uh.  Well thursday saw a selloff which some were thinking might be a deja vu from last year.  Last year saw the market top in May and correct for a couple of months.  Friday's recovery did come on lighter volume, so we'll have to see if we get any kind of "IBD follow through" over the next week.  As for me, I still remain with low beta stocks, cash, a little QID and some mo-mo stocks.  But, I have reduced many of my mo-mo holdings this week and added to the cash position. 
  • Wallstrip on market seasonality (sell in May...). JMHO, of course, but looks like we had a seasonal top hit on thursday for those watching for a Spring MACD crossover (ahem, Sy Harding).  I know, market timing based on a calendar in and of itself is a blinders-on approach.  But when the market has rallied for so long and divergences start to appear, then booking gains in the Spring might be a good idea. Worked last year.  Of course, the seasonal buy in Fall didn't.  YOU MEAN I HAVE TO GET THE SELL SIGNAL AND THE BUY SIGNAL RIGHT?  Well...
  • On the Miami Dolphins top draft pick WR from Ohio State: Ted Ginn's pretty funny. I asked him why he has his name: T. Ginn Jr. - tattooed on his back and he replied: "In case I forget my ID.''  (Less funny if you're top draft pick is wearing a boot, though).
  • Why US stocks can move much higher, from Dr. Jeff.  It is our conclusion that stocks can move much higher during 2007.  This is no surprise to regular readers of "A Dash", but it is a good time to summarize the current situation.  We will do this in a multi-part series examining several issues.  There you go.  Interesting thoughts.  Regarding his comments on the psychology of the market, I think he's dead on.  There are a lot of folks, including me, watching for a correction THAT NEVER COMES!
  • Liberal Larry says Bush steals the French ElectionsI return from my annual Yoga Redeployment to find the world crumbling all around me. The Shrub, it seems, has been as busy as a fascist beaver. California is burning, thanks to his refusal to ratify Kyoto. 10,000 inner-city blacks are dead in Kansas because of his illegal and immoral war in Iraq. Bush’s Fascist Bureau of Ethnic Cleansing is rounding up former Yugoslavian terrorists in New Jersey (what part of the word “former” doesn’t that stupid Chimp understand?), and to top it all off, my beloved France has now fallen under the jackboot of U.S. hegemony.
  • Oh, hat tip to Adam for the "none pictured" quip.
  • I'm not sure where I finished in the CNBC stock gambling contest.  I didn't re-register for the 2nd Chance contest.  Last I checked I had SINA, and was in the top 11%.
  • Work was overwhelming in the last half of the week. 
  • Barry with some links and a look ahead to next week.
  • Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Stock Thoughts (and Kristen Bell!)

  • Traders look be be unfazed by the CW decision to possibly add a fourth season of Veronica Mars.  The initial reaction during amatuer hour was "market orders to sell at the open!"  But Kristen Bell fans have quickly bought the dip to bring the DOW and SP500 into the positive.  Sure, the Nasdaq hasn't quite recovered fully, and unless the CW announces a guest appearance for Cisco's John Chambers in an upcoming episode, I can't blame traders for being cautious.
  • The stock market "game plan" is that any kind of movement down results in an immediate "bottom" and must be bought.  We're in a new era where a stock market correction only lasts a few minutes to a few hours, max.  (I don't really believe that, but I'm going to have to capitulate on my worry at some point.  I get the feeling Wall Street is just waiting for me to load up on the QQQQ before the real correction begins).
  • On the otherhand, in the CNBC stock gambling contest my speculative guesses have me still in the top 11%, but today that's going to go south for me in a big way as my afterhours earnings plays yesterday are getting smoked.  CSCO, DIS, ERTS and DIGE.  Thank goodness it's all play money!  OK, so for today's afterhours, I'm only picking one stock:  SINA!
  • Of course, today all hands are on deck for Federal Reserve dude Ben Bernanke.   Hawkish or non-hawkish?  Nobody expects anything with interest rates this time.

Monday, May 07, 2007


  • How come it seems like mondays roll around a bit too often?
  • If the stock market is open, that means people are buying stocks and sending the indexes higher (because we're never having another down day again). Except for the Nasdaq, but who cares about yesterday's heroes?  It's all about the DOW.  Maybe it'll be about the SP500 if it can break through 1527.  Say, does Erin Burnett have a "1528" party hat at the ready? 
  • Oh, whenever I mention Erin Burnett, I have to also type in the words bikini, cheerleader, naked, topless, and panties.  Just normal search engine protocol.
  • Still stuck in top 11% in CNBC stock gambling contest, and sold 'em all today and bought WYNN and AFSI for the afterhours earnings calls. 
  • Barry Ritholtz on TSCM's buying of Stockpickr"With the Stocpickr acquisition behind it -- and perhaps several others in the future -- we may be seeing a process where is diversifying itself from that risk (relying on a single personality) factor. That not only is good for TSCM's shareholders, but potentially  good for, as they diversify themselves from being at risk from the Cramer-gets-hit-by-a-bus fear. It also improves the odds of someone else potentially acquiring itself."  That does make sense.  And it also is a splash of reality that there will be a post-Cramer investing era. 
  • I agree with Adam on the Warren Buffett interview on CNBC this morning.  Did you find it revealing or noteworthy?  Or worthwhile?  I turned on the TV to find out what was happening in the market, and I got THAT!  Er, can't we show that clip afterhours, Liz Clamon?  (bikini, topless, panties, smoking, cheerleader, naked).
  • Jeremy Siegel, Ph.D.  Sounds like a TV show, but Dr. Stocksforthelongrun says, "...equities at today’s valuation are priced to yield a real return of 6% to 6.5%."  (The good doctor must mean stocks outside of the DOW, because the DOW goes up everyday.  Duh!)
  • The Golden Boy, Nicolas Sarkozy, wins the French elections!  And as Larry Kudlow says, just more proof that the supply-side Reaganomic revolution has created booming economic prosperity... Oops, I started typing without reading!  Larry actually linked to an NRO article.  "So, if representative democracy works as it is supposed to do, Sarkozy will push through the market reforms that France has needed for at least two decades. He will deregulate its labor market, slim down the public-sector payroll, abandon the symbolic 35-hour work week, reduce public spending from its current 52 percent of GDP, and reform the French welfare state."  I'm sure Reaganomics must be mentioned in there somewhere???
  • Wow, Trading Goddess in the top 2% in the CNBC stock gambling contest.  Bottom line:  WOW!
  • Bullish divergences on the QID?  From Trade While Working.  Yeah, I see 'em

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

  • [dafne.jpg]Why not start off this Sabado Mas Grande with Dafne Molina?
  • As if Americans needed another reason to head out to a Mexican restaurant. 
  • Market timing has become futile, as the DOW is obviously never having another down day again.  This is where buy and hold beats market timing hands down.  I think we know how rallies like this end.  We'll have 2 or 3 huge down days in a week that reverse the gains for the last 2-3 months.  But trying to pick the top has been a losers game.  The SP500 closes in on its all-time high of 1527, and it'll be interesting to see what happens then.  The Nasdaq is not even close to its 2000 highs.  Eyes will be on John Chambers and Cisco on tuesday.  We also have Ben Bernanke's comments on the calendar.
  • The Confused Capitalist thinks the next Fed move will be up, not down!  That'd tip the apple cart a bit, don't you think?  Here we have the GDP below trend at 1.3%, new jobs being added way below the 150K "just right" number to absorb population growth.  I think the Fed rates are too high.  So if the Fed comes out hawkish, this could upset things.  JMHO!
  • Still top 11% in the CNBC stock gambling contest, FWIW. 
  • How about those Golden State Warriors?  I loved to see Mark Cuban's Mavericks go 67 wins when it doesn't count and then just get smoked in the playoffs in the first round.  Adam weighs in on the link between Baron Davis and Jessica Alba.
  • Warren Buffet says subprime crisis is no big deal"You'll see plenty of misery in that field. You've already seen some," Buffett said. "I don't seen a big impact on the economy though."  I agree with WB.  I also don't think the government has a role in bailing out people who made bad business deals.
  • Keep an eye on the French elections.  Quite emotional over there.
  • Dark chocolate sales on the rise.  U.S. dark chocolate sales are anything but bittersweet, as its much-touted health benefits and mass marketing introduced by companies such as Hershey Co. and Lindt & Sprungli Co. Plc. turn the product into a popular, guilt-free indulgence.  A 49% jump in sales!  I do eat some here and there.  I always have.  Love it more than the milk chocolate.
  • Liberal Larry weighs in on the Bush veto of the Iraq withdrawal bill.  Bush’s illegal and immoral veto of a bill that would finally end his illegal and immoral war sends a dangerous message to our troops that not only is the war winnable, but that their congressional leaders are a bunch of limp-wristed surrender monkeys as well. Such disrespect for the Legislative Branch of government is par for the Shrub’s fascist course, but in a time of war (even an illegal and immoral one) it is vitally important for the leaders of this country to show a unified front. Bush’s abuse of his illgotten veto powers may raise doubts in the minds of our GI's that Harry and Nancy are actually calling the shots here.
  • When will they stop calling Oscar de la Hoya "The Golden Boy?"  Big fight tonight between he and Floyd Mayweather.  I don't mind sucking down a few Coronas on fight night, but I won't be watching this one.  Should be fun, though.
  • Howard on yesterday's rumored Microsoft and Yahoo merger.  My thoughts?  Probably a good fit if you think about it.  I heard somebody say that MSFT is good at monetizing, but not getting the page hits.  While YHOO gets the hits, but has a tough time making money from it. 
  • Herb has the latest on Blockbuster vs. Netflix.
  • Murdoch WSJ from Barry Ritholtz.  Naked NYSE cuties on page 2!  Hey, that might increase their online subscriptions.  Also check out the bull/bear ratio.  Personally, I don't respect the AAII survey as much as the Investors Intelligence survey.  And prefer a moving average of the put/call ratio.
  • Windy here today.  I lifted weights this morning and was thinking about heading out skating, but HOO HAH the wind is going about 30mph.  Which would be a lot of fun in one direction, and less fun in the other.  Ah heck, why not?  After all, President Bush came out this morning urging Americans to exercise more, right?
  • Make it a great one today!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Stock Thoughts

  • As I type, the SP500 is now above 1500. I believe that's just 27 points away from the previous all-time high back in 2000.   It's an amazing market.  I find myself not trading much this week, letting the winners run, and being patient with cash.  We're emerging from the 401(k) additions at the beginning of the month.  In 2006, things got a little dicey in May.  Stay focused.
  • As the market powers forward, we see some stronger economic data and some comments from our favorite Barry Ritholtz over at CBS Marketwatch"This is a market full of contradictions," said Barry Ritholtz, chief market strategist Ritholtz Research & Analytics. "I can't recall the last time there's been such negative sentiment [in investor surveys], and yet we rarely reach a top in a market until everyone has become too optimistic."  Yeah, the crowd is skeptical.  As I mentioned yesterday, that appears to be where I am!
  • So the earnings for DLB are rockin' my CNBC stock gambling portfolio.  But as always, dumpin' them all today and going for AGU, CHK, EXEL, ITMN, NBR, QLGC, and WMS today.  A little larger swath of stocks for thursday night earnings.  Was able to sneak in the top 12% after yesterday.
  • Hey, the two white guys not named Blake did get eliminated last night on American Idol.  Good choice, voters.  Now it gets more difficult. 
  • Lost was great last night.  More island secrets to be revealed shortly.
  • Holy bat droppings, Batman!  An upstate New York couple didn't think a few bats in the attic were much of a problem when they were buying a house last summer.  Months later, they found out how wrong they were when they discovered more than a ton and a half of bat droppings up there. 
  • Last week we saw the Democrats debate for the 2008 grand prize.  This week, it's the GOP's turn.  Man, it's May 3rd, 2007.  How much earlier are these things going to start?  I heard that some state(s) want to move their primary up to December.  I feel voter fatigue already.
  • A remedy after the fact for mortgage brokers who seem to have been preying on folks who didn't have the ability to make mortgage payments.  Mortgage brokers would be saddled with new rules designed to protect borrowers in the hard-hit subprime market under a bill introduced Thursday in the Senate. The proposal would force brokers and originators to assess a borrower's ability to repay a loan before taking one out, and prohibits "steering" consumers to rates or terms they can't afford.   $300 million in this one by Charles Shumer (D).

MS Charity Comments

Yesterday, I started off the blog about Laura's Houston to Austin charity bike ride to raise money in the fight against MS.  This disease hits a little close to home, as my cousin's wife passed away last year after a long struggle.  

I really appreciate the work that folks do to raise money and awareness of diseases like MS (and others).  I believe we all make a difference when we pool our talents and abilities. 

Again, thanks to Laura.  As she noted in the comments, the ride was actually 180 miles!  Whoa, Nellie.  I need to put on a pair of padded bike shorts just thinking about that long of a ride!

Laura's bike ride

Houston to Austin MS 150 donation site.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Zag Watchers (and Laura Rides for MS)

First, Houston blogger Laura went on the Houston to Austion 150 mile bike ride for MS.  If it's in your heart, please contribute

So what is it that keeps fueling this market?  Too much skepticism?  I think I must be in "the crowd."  Although I'm try to run with the crowd during the trend and then be the contrarian and spot the zag when the market is zigging, I'm wondering if I'm standing in a crowd of zag watchers.  Although I'm net long with the conservative holdings acting well, I do have that cash on the sidelines and underperforming mo-mos. 

Here comes the fork in the road, right?  And a choice must be made.  I mean, what does one do at this point?  Patiently wait for some sort of health restoring event before jumping in?  Chase the market and hope not to be the Greater Fool?  Dollar cost average in, up the Netflix subscriptions to "unlimited" per month and swear never-ever to try and time the market again?  What has served me well over the years is patience.  No reason to get caught up in the emotional swell of stocks rising day after day for weeks on end.  That never lasts for too long.

I think I'm going to get drubbed with my CNBC earnings picks today, as afterhours there is some 'splainin' to do in the conference calls, Lucy.  Eh, LVS was a stretch.  Casinos are packed, though.  Maybe it's just me losing money at those darn things.  The most expensive free cocktails on the planet!

Lets go for more randoms, eh?

  • Bought a webcam today.  Something to mess around with. 
  • Blogging economists draw big crowd.  On the one hand...  On the other hand...
  • Madd Money recaps.  Yah, lotsa food stocks doing well.  That Chipotle is always packed at lunchtime around here.  As Yogi might say, nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded!  (Seriously, I don't go there because I don't like waiting in long lines).  Anyways, it is amazing with gasoline prices so high.   What are consumers cutting back on?  Maybe if we lined up the discretionary spending stocks we could see where the impact of high fuel prices are.
  • Decided to take a break from cycling this year.  Instead, I'm weightlifting and inline skating.  Something different.  
  • People moving from CA to... Phoenix!  From Larry.  He also reports that Nicholas Cage's home in SF is up on the market.
  • And Mark Hulbert has an interesting column up at CBS Marketwatch that discusses the the skepticism on market timers about this market.  So they're not wildly bearish, but don't want to take on too much risk here.  Seem familiar?  Zag watchers while the market is zigging!

Rainy Day Randoms

  • Wait... Not summer quite yet. Rain in the valley...
  • The Warriors looked like they just ran out of gas last night. And you have to wonder if they'll be able to win one of the next two.  I'm pulling for them.  But maybe I was a bit premature in trying to find Mallory some post-NBA season work.
  • Even Erin Burnett seems to find new highs in the DOW boring these days.  It's ho-hum.  We're all watching the SP500 to see if it can go beyond 1527 (or whatever the old high is).  If you're waiting for the Nasdaq, however... er.  Lucy, you've got sum waitin' to do....
  • Well, peace in the Middle East may seem impossible, but not in the sim world.  A new video game called PeaceMaker allows you to play the part of the Israeli prime minister or the Palestinian president and make diplomatic, security and economic decisions.  Now watch 13-yr old gamers due what adults have been unable to do! 
  • CNBC Stock Gambling Contest? Fell to top 13% after yesterday.  Today, selling all of 'em (MET, TEVA, and OII) and buying APPB, DLB, LVS and PDLI and hoping for some after the bell earnings gap-uppage.  I think Cisco is coming up on tuesday, FWIW. You know John Chambers.  He used to like to do the happy dance on earnings day.  Kind of died down a bit in recent years.
  • Yeah, we're bored with the DOW making new highs every few hours.  How about American Idol winning the weekly ratings war every week?  I watched last night, and think Jordan was the least impressive.  But I hope she stays on.  I thought Blake did an interesting take.  Melinda was great.  Lakisha was great.  If I was The Decider, I'd pick Chris or Paul to leave.  Not sure if those are the right names.  But the "white guys not named Blake" seem vulnerable to me.
  • Miami Dolphins drafted Hawaii fullback Reagan Mauia in the 6th round.  He used to weigh 380 pounds.  Watch him run through a wall.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Randoms (and Mallory!)

  • There is a new vacancy on The View with Rosie "leaving."  Why not Dallas Mavericks cheerleader Mallory?  First, the Mavericks are about to be eliminated from the NBA playoffs, so she'll have the time to do The View.  Next, she has 16 years of dance training including ballet, jazz, modern, tap and hip-hop.  And with over 87 pairs of shoes, I think she'd be a shoe-in!  And don't you think The View could use a few more dance numbers?
  • In the biggest shocker since summer heat in Phoenix, President Bush vetoes the Iraq spending bill that contained a withdrawal timeline.  Boy, we sure didn't see that one coming, eh?
  • In the latest "It's good for you!" vs. "It's bad for you!" study on coffee comes the It's Good For You!
  • Oh, never miss Adam's Randoms.  The lowdown on Baron Davis' beard.  I'm thinking maybe he's trying to impress Mallory.
  • Mallory's favorite season is Spring.  So she's probably in a good mood right now, except for the Mavs losing thing.
  • With the DOW at 13,000 Howard brings up Five Things that could go wrong.
  • I think Rosie was offered an opportunity to resign.  JMHO.
  • The Hedonism Index from Barry Rithholtz.
  • OK, that's it from here at the Fun Factory for a Tuesday.  Bleh!  And I'd love Spring just as much as Mallory if it weren't for these allergies.  Sometimes I skate through the season with barely a sniffle.  And sometimes I don't - like this year!  ACHOOOO.... 

Stock Thoughts

  • Yesterday's stock market action caused some folks to wonder if we were putting in some sort of top. Either in the short term or maybe something more dramatic.  In addition, some also believe that the DOW leads in the last phase of a bull market.   I don't think the bell was rung just yet.  We'd have to scan the IBD rules for distribution days and follow-through days.  We're not there quite yet.  Also we're in the 401(k) dollar cost averaging season as money hits retirement plans and goes into the large funds and index trackers.
  • I remain as I have been since early December, positioned with low beta holdings, cash, a little QID, and some mo-mo stocks.  Granted, the latter has been performing poorly this week and I've trimmed some.
  • The interesting thing is that my "earnings plays" for the CNBC stock gambling contest are working, but the ones in real life aren't so much.  I should've bailed before earnings in the mo-mo names.  Crazy to hold on.  Lesson learned.
  • Top 11% in the CNBC stock gambling contest!  Moving higher.  I was frustrated today because something was wrong with their website.  I sold everything I bought yesterday but when I went to enter buy orders, nothing was working.  Finaly near the end of the day I bought 3 stocks for earnings, MET, OII and TEVA.   I wanted to buy more but ran out of time for today's afterhours and tomorrow's before the bell earnings.  Drat.